This is a list of Burns' (most significant) short films made from the year 2000-present. Burns describes the films in his own words and also explains what inspired him to make them.

NOTE: You can see most of these films in the films/video section of the website.

BREAKING NEWS (OCTOBER 2017): Now you can read all about the making of Burns' movies in his new memoir GARAGE MOVIE, now available on Amazon!


WE'RE GOOD (2012)

A man spends the days following a one-night stand in a kind of psychological hell, fearing that the sex may not have been the safest it could have been. This is a short, dark tragicomedy that explores a Catch-22 in the human condition (i.e. damned if you have sex and damned if you don't). I wrote this script way back in 2008 and finally made it myself four years later.

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SO SORRY (2012)

A young, neurotic man rehearses what he's going to say to a family of mourners at a Wake. This is a short comedy that was made for everybody who's felt awkward going to a Wake and expressing their condolences to people.

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A straight-forward 30min documentary where I investigate an alleged haunted house on Cape Cod and successfully communicate with an entity through knocking.

In attempt to set this project apart from "Ghost Hunters" and similar shows, I was sure to use no sound fx or music whatsoever (with the exception of one musical theme during the credits). I did this with the purpose of trying to convey the experience of being in a haunted house as realistically as possible. The end result, hopefully, was that the viewer feared ghosts less than what they have been conditioned to feel through Hollywood horror movies/TV shows.

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On the surface, this is a silly short, but the footage I used in the film was actually shot in a real haunted house while making my short documentary "A Parallel World".

Basically, the idea for HAUNTED HOUSE was born while watching a stupid short documentary on Netflix called "Alone in a Haunted House", which was about a scientist who stays overnight in a real haunted house and tries to capture evidence of paranormal activity. He roams around the house all night with a bunch of equipment and gadgets, trying to find anything paranormal, but nothing ever happens. So the producer of the film apparently tried to make up for the lack of activity by putting a bunch of over-the-top sound fx on the soundtrack, which end up making the film more ridiculous rather than more entertaining.

Anyway, HAUNTED HOUSE was essentially a satire (or kind of parody) of "Alone in a Haunted House", though in a more general sense the short also satirized sleazy Hollywood horror movies that utilize stupid sound fx and other shallow razzle-dazzle in desperate attempt to engage viewers' emotions.

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This was a short that satirized the Dane Cook 'There's only one Octobur!' commercials that played during the 2007 World Series. I had shot a bunch of footage of my friends playing tackle football on Thanksgiving morning and then I cut in shots of me standing in front of a Green-screened American Flag, talking about the game as though it was the most epic event ever to occur. Overall, the short is a satire of Sports Networks in general and how they build trivial games up to being the most important events ever to occur in the history of time.

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WENDEL'S REVENGE (Winter-Summer 2004)

My friends consider this to be one of my best films. It's sort of like a best-of, as far as my "fun" films go. It's funny, awesome, gruesome, hip, in-your-face, awesome and not the least bit profound (although it does have post- apocalyptic overtones that draw attention to the absurdity of Hollywood genre films). Jeremy Mitchell plays Wendel, out to avenge a drive-by underpantsing executed by the villainous Rat Bones (played by Tim Hunt). I also make an appearance in this movie as Maurice, Rat Bones' incapacitated brother. This film features scenes shot on location outside Walmart and Stop and Shop; plus, it's got a crazy murder sequence where I finally got to use chocolate syrup for blood. O HORRIBLE!


THE SECOND BEAST (Spring 2004)

An obsessive decoder of "Book of Revelation" discovers that his good friend is the second beast of the Apocalypse and must be killed in order to save mankind. The film explores free will, questioning whether prophecies actually exist and, if they do, whether or not mankind has the ability to break them. I star in this film as the obsessive decoder, which is why most fans refer to the film as my "Citizen Kane" although I'm actually lying when I say that. You may have seen this movie screened at BU or the Coolidge Corner Theater in Boston.



The first of two more student films. I consider this to be another one of my best films to date. It simply consists of Hitler's soul going up to heaven (after Hitler's body commits suicide in the bunker) and complaining to God for placing it into such an evil body during its time on earth. The film explores the extent to which the supposedly "rational" mind can lead the body to do some VERY evil things during its earthly existence. It also explores the human identity, questioning whether it's the body or soul that defines who we are. If the mind leads us to do something evil, can we actually be held accountable for it?



These were three student films, shot on 16mm Tri-X reversal film. The first film involves a homeless bum out to get revenge from all the people who have made his life crummy as hell. How does he get his revenge? By leaving his soiled underpants in very inconvenient places, such as a purse or a book-bag or a mailbox. This profound film struck a deep emotional chord in all of those who watched it. MENTAL PUBERTY was a somewhat pretentious film featuring another homeless bum (played by the same actor, Jake Kassen) who gets drunk and carves a jack-o-lantern in the middle of a city sidewalk. The process of carving a pumpkin was supposed to symbolize the exploration of his mind. The deeper into the pumpkin he got, the scarier the film became! The last film, ACTAEON, did exactly what the subtitle suggests: provide a general audience with an easily digestible story about a Peeping Tom. Using Jake Kassen again (he was my Deniro while in film school), I tried to explore the human problem at the root of voyeurism, specifically sexual voyeurism. The result was both a darkly comic and unsentimentally empathetic film that Matt Burns called "One of the year's ten best as far as student films go and I should know because I made it." This movie was the first movie where I hired a movie scorer (when I say "hired" I don't really mean I paid him). Chris Lyons' music received much praise when the film premiered.



This movie was later reedited in 2003 and re-titled ONLY ENTERTAINMENT. This is the first film where I realized it was too difficult to both star and direct at the same time. With the exception of a brief cameo, fans of the Matt Burns acting style will be disappointed when watching this one. Nevertheless, I consider GAS to be one of my best films. It involves two friends (Tim Hunt and Mark Willis) racing each other in Mario Kart. Tim ultimately wins the race, Mark gets angry, says "Wanna take this outside?" and a real-life car chase ensues!!! Yes, fantasy becoming reality and the line between the two blurs! Overall, the film was a satire of (what I would later define as) our "culture of unreality." Anyway, the car-chase was shot in various locations around Walpole. All of those involved (including Jeremy Mitchell who plays Willis' gay bodyguard) were put through some very rigorous (not to mention dangerous) stunt-work. After all, I wanted realism! I should also mention that Matt Hunt, Brendan Hunt and Matthew Norton make their acting debuts in this film.



This movie wasn't too good either, but it did have such memorable lines as "Where's the feckin drugs?" "Feckin' Cyclops" and other lines with "feckin" in them. The title for the film basically came out of my inability to talk with an Irish accent without it sounding British and Australian. Shot on location in my garage and other picturesque Walpole locations, the movie stars me as the British Dingo from Ireland, a drug dealer whose only friends are his gun and his money (gee, that's an original character, huh?), and costars Mark Willis as Pristine, Jeremy Mitchell as Kado and Tim Hunt as someone who really has no name. This film appeared on IFILM.COM the summer after it was shot and played there for two months or so.


GUTTER (Winter 2001)

This movie is basically a piece of garbage. It stars me as some psycho killer out to hunt down Tim Hunt and Mark Willis for no reason. The continuity in this film is so bad that Willis just disappears without me killing him at any point. Yes, it makes Ed Wood look like Orson Welles, and pretend I just said that latter statement with a tone of Euro trashiness. Shot on location in the Tim Hunt household, I used red food dye mixed with Karo syrup for blood, which, in B&W looks pretty good, though I later learned that Hitchcock's traditional chocolate syrup method works best.


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